Governor Bullock has long championed serving breakfast in the classroom as a way to gets starting each day on the right foot and today, thanks to a $10,000 donation from First Interstate Bank, Elrod Elementary School will now be piloting Breakfast after the Bell.
"The idea is really to take away the stigma from kids that don't always get as good of food as they could, take away the stigma put it into the classroom so everyone's sharing in this and we've seen the difference it can make in communities,” Governor Steve Bullock said.
Starting in January, four 4th and 5th grade classrooms at Elrod Elementary will begin each day with every student receiving a nutritious breakfast to eat at their desks.
Students at Elrod were particularly excited about trying the oatmeal breakfast cookies, but they're not the ones looking forward to the program.
"Kids don't have to choose whether they want to go outside and play or if they want to come in and eat, I know that's what a lot of kids struggle with in the morning. Sometimes the busses are late and they just don't have time and they have to go straight to class. But if they get breakfast in the classroom everyone gets an equal opportunity,” said No Kid Hungry volunteer Jessica Ferretti;.
About 100 Montana schools are part of the governor's No Kid Hungry initiative
Officials say while the thought of feeding 30 kids every morning in the classroom can be a little overwhelming, so far that concern has been for naught.
“teachers work it right into their day, they like it, they say their students are more focused, they participate more, they don't ask when lunch is all the time. So it's been very positive,” Ferretti said.
In order to expand breakfast after the bell to additional Flathead schools, Governor Bullock says public-private partnerships like the donation from first interstate are vital.
"It’s great that we've had private partners from around the state and we'll soon be going out with another set of round of requests if schools want to join into this program,” Bullock said.